This historic building dating back to 1893 has worn many hats -- an Odd Fellows Hall, a saloon, a janitorial supply center, a social club for the deaf -- and most recently a venue for underground art installations, dance parties, and live music. Thanks to the work of Oakland artists Adam Hatch, Eric Siemens, and Andrew Bennet, as well as Sam White (of the Ramen Shop), Starline Social Club has emerged from the semi-secret shadows as a full-on legit artist-owned venue, cocktail bar, and full kitchen (get ready for pork buns, steak tartare, and banh mi). While the downstairs space feels more hipster than underground punk, the upstairs 350-person dance hall that plays host to artist-driven performances, shows, and installations keeps the original spirit of the space alive. Pro tip: you won’t have to wait as long for a drink at the separate, smaller bar upstairs, but your choices will be limited to one beer, one punch (like a lethal tequila sunrise), one well-liquor shot, and a wine.
After honing his burger skills at places like Bar Tartine, Slow Club, and Serpentine (plus gathering a cult-like following in San Francisco through a pop-up in Bruno’s that we raved about years ago), Chris Kronner’s signature marrow-topped aged beef burger served rare finally found a permanent home on Piedmont Ave at this casual, yet stylish, upscale diner.